It’s Fearless Friday! A few weeks ago I shared that, in spite of my fears, I had been convinced (tricked? shamed? hornswaggled?) into running a half marathon in Minneapolis with Team World Vision to raise money for clean water for Africa.
It’s on October 26th and is called the Monster Dash. “Dash”?? Really? How can a half marathon be called a “dash”? For me it may be a shuffle or a trudge or a slog, but I will definitely not be dashing!
No, I’m not a “runner”. I do more of a scuffle that’s so slow 80 year old men in wheelchairs could pass me. Before a few weeks ago, I don’t think I had run more than 3 miles in my whole life.
And, yes, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m 55 years old and have rods and screws in my back. So, if I can give this a go, anyone can. Today I want to encourage you to sign up to run with me, and to give you a little update.
The good news:
I haven’t tripped and fallen on my face (yet).
I haven’t died.
That’s about it.
It seems that anyone who has ever trained for anything has gained parallel insights into spiritual formation, so forgive me if this seems cliche, but I’ve been experiencing these truths in a deeper way since I began scuffling along…
- One good day does not a successful runner make. One bad day does not a failure make. It’s a journey paved with grace. One day I ran a long ways (for me) and didn’t pass out. I felt pretty good. The next day I ran 1/4 as far and hated every painful step. Yesterday I took a new route and made a mistake. I took a wrong turn and was so dang frustrated and discouraged as I tried to find my way back onto the trail. I thought of two close friends of mine who took some wrong turns a few years ago, but have worked hard to correct their course. I loved praying with thanksgiving for them and our redeeming God, even as I made my way back to the right path. Grace, grace, and more grace!
- You’ve got to run your own race, and not get sucked into comparing with others. Yesterday Sven Sundgaard, our local TV Weatherman lapped me. Yes, that’s him prancing by, probably running an 8 minute pace after 16 miles. And I don’t think he’s sweating. I need to remind myself, “This is God’s race for me. He’s running a different race.”
- Pace doesn’t matter. Crossing the finish line does. Just. Keep. Going. Running gives me a great time to pray for those who are in hard marathons – Lee who’s fighting pancreatic cancer, Emily who’s running up a steep incline, the kids we sponsor – Michael, Loveness, Givison, Miguel, and the one who’s name I can never remember. I pray, “Lord strengthen them for the race they are running today. Give them endurance and hope, and a sense of You running alongside them.”
- Running with a coach helps. My daughter Katy (my encourager and trainer) was in town for the wedding and ran with me the other day. The company, encouragement, and advice, resulted in a longer, faster run than I had done yet. I am thankful for so many who have run alongside me as counselors and cheerleaders over the years. Who’s running with you?
- If you look too far ahead, fear will paralyze you. If I think about October 26th and running 13.1 miles I want to throw up or in the towel right now. Sometimes I can only concentrate on making it to the next bend in the road. Take it one step at a time, one block at a time, one mile at a time.
Anything is something. Every step “counts”. Every run helps you get closer to your goal. What’s one small step you’re taking today?